Mystics’ Mutilation of Quantum Theory (3)

In the last two posts on Mystics’ Mutilation of Quantum Theory I showed how Chopra eliminated any trace of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his book, despite the fact that by his own admission,  Maharishi was the source of his quantum healing. I also pointed out the absurdity of trying to explain scientifically the efficacy of the medicine of the Serpent King, Shesha. In this last post on Chopra, I assess his “quantum” physics.

Intelligent Solar System

AyurvedaChopra unabashedly uses cells, chromosomes, DNA, peptides, amino acids, etc., without acknowledging the source of all these objects. The very notion of “too many chemicals (literally thousands of them)” is gifted to the mind-body medicine by science. Digging through the pages of the Sushruta and Charaka Samhitas for hundreds of years would never have given mind-body physicians a cell, a chromosome, an amino acid, or a single one of the “too many chemicals!” But Chopra does not just use these ideas. He turns them into ammunition against the very source from which he walked off with them:

…  somehow the human cells have evolved to a state of formidable intelligence. At any one time, the number of activities being coordinated in our bodies is quite literally infinite. … The healing mechanism resides somewhere in this overall complexity, but it is elusive. … How does the body know what to do when it is damaged? Medicine has no simple answer. Any one of the processes involved in healing a superficial cut … is incredibly complex, so much so that if the mechanism fails, as it does with the hemophiliacs, advanced scientific medicine is at a loss to duplicate the impaired function.(p. 40)

Since we have already seen the similarity between mind-body medicine’s assessment of the complexity of our body and that of the solar system, let’s go back 400 years in time, and locate a ‘mind-body’ astronomer at the turn of the seventeenth century. Let him look at the sky and see the planets move around the sun in elliptical orbits (as Copernicus and Kepler had just shown). Now listen to what he has to say:

somehow the solar system has evolved to a state of formidable intelligence. The mechanism of planet rotation resides somewhere in this overall complexity, but it is elusive. How do the planets know not to go any further when they get to their apogee? Astronomy has no simple answer.

That mind-body astronomer was right until less than a hundred years later when Newton discovered the mathematical law of gravity and the laws of motion, based on which scientists could explain the detailed motion of all planets and show that it was mathematics and the laws of motion that told the planet to return to the sun, once it reached its apogee! Today’s mind-body doctors are also right: scientific medicine has no simple answer now. In fact, it may never have a simple answer. But answer it will have. Just wait a hundred years or so!

Chopra has not yet found the source of the intelligence in cells. To find it, he casually and opportunistically exploits the great discoveries of scientific medicine. He then immediately turns around and starts degrading it by complaining about the shortcomings of what his medical school taught him about neurons, namely that they communicated through electrical signals across synapses. He is equally dissatisfied with his medical textbooks:  “… the description we learned in our neurology textbook in 1966 told us next to nothing about how neurons act in real life.” (p. 50)

Is it not possible that the neurology textbook in 1966 contained next to nothing about how neurons act in real life because neurons were not fully understood at that time? Is it not true that the biology textbooks in 1950 said next to nothing about the double helix and the DNA molecule? Is it not also true that the biology textbooks in 1830 said next to nothing about the germ theory of diseases? And physics textbooks of 1910 said nothing about the nucleus of the atom? Science is not the content of some ancient book as Ayurveda is, and the neurology textbook of 1966 is not the Charaka Samhita of neurology! Science is, to use Chopra’s own phrase, “a river not a sculpture.”  It is constantly changing, with new discoveries being made on a daily basis, and its textbooks being revised accordingly.

Fragrant and stinking hydrogen atom

The mind-body medicine has thus far discovered that neurotransmitters are the carriers of intelligence. But from where do they get that intelligence? Stretching the intelligence of neurotransmitter molecules further, Chopra puts the official seal on the strange ideas he has been hinting at, and arrives at the heart of his theory of quantum healing:

The mystery of mind-over-matter has not been explained by biology, which prefers to push on to more and more complicated chemical structures. It is still obvious that no one is ever going to find a particle, however minute, that nature has labeled ‘intelligence.’  You may find it easy to think of DNA … as an intelligent molecule; certainly it must be smarter than a simple molecule like sugar. But DNA is really just strings of sugar, amines, and other simple components. If these are not “smart” to begin with, then DNA couldn’t become smart just by putting more of them together. Following this line of reasoning, why isn’t the carbon or hydrogen atom in the sugar also smart? Perhaps it is. (pp. 65-66)

All medical doctors, who, by the nature of their training, are required to take a good number of chemistry courses, should know the qualitative difference between a chemical compound and its constituents. However, Chopra, with his idea of the presence of intelligence in the simple constituents of a more complex structure, shows a complete ignorance of this basic understanding. To measure this ignorance, consider geraniol, the chemical name for the rose fragrance. Each molecule of geraniol consists of ten carbon atoms, eighteen hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. One of Chopra’s readers has some questions for him. Here is how the QA conversation might go:

Reader: Why does geraniol smell so sweet?
Chopra: Because hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms smell sweet.
Reader: Hydrogen sulfide consists of two hydrogen atoms and one sulfur atom. Why does hydrogen sulfide stink like a rotten egg?
Chopra: Because both hydrogen and sulfur atoms smell like rotten eggs.
Reader: Wait a minute! How can a hydrogen atom smell like a rose and stink like a rotten egg?
Chopra (after some thinking): A hydrogen atom is intelligent enough to know when it belongs to a geraniol molecule and when to a hydrogen sulfide molecule!

Fragrance is a property of a chemical compound, which has to be explained by the electrical interaction and spatial configuration of the atoms of which it is made, plus the interaction of that compound with our olfactory nerves. Similarly, intelligence is a property of our brain, which has to be explained by the electrical and chemical interactions and spatial configuration of the neurons of which it is made. Without understanding the detailed structure of a neuron and the physical and chemical processes in which it participates, no explanation of intelligence is possible.

Destruction of a building by a sneeze

QuantHeal1On page 96 of Quantum Healing is a diagram shown on the right. On page 97 is another diagram shown on the left below. Presumably, A is considered a cause and B an effect. The straight line of the first diagram expresses the logical connection in the world of our senses. If A and B are two billiard balls one hitting the other, the outcome is predictable. However, we cannot apply the same diagram if A is a thought and B is a neuro-peptide, because, so Chopra’s theory tells us, there is no straight-line connection between a nonmaterial thought and a material object, even one as small as a peptide molecule. Instead one has to draw a different diagram with a detour in it:

QuantHeal2

 

The U shape shows that a process has to take place that is not above the line, in Newton’s rational, straight-line world. There is some hidden transformation happening that turns a thought into a molecule. The transformation doesn’t take any time and doesn’t happen in any place – it is carried out just by the presence of an impulse of the nervous system. …

The whole area below the line is not a region to be visited in space and time; it just stands for wherever it is you go when you turn thoughts into molecule. One could also think of it as the control room that correlates any mental impulse with the body.(pp.96-97)

This is one of those idiotic syllogisms so very common among the anti-science crowd. You can use this kind of reasoning to prove any (absurd) statement. For example, I can claim that my sneeze can disrupt the molten lava under the earth’s crust. How? One of the molecules exhaled during my sneeze can penetrate the earth’s crust and shake the molten lava violently. There is no straight-line connection between a single sneeze molecule and the disturbance of the molten lava above the line. Therefore, I have to draw a U-shaped arrow to connect the sneeze molecule to the disturbance of the molten lava.

The U shape shows that a process has to take place that is not above the line. There is some hidden transformation happening that turns a sneeze molecule into the motion of the molten lava. The transformation doesn’t take any time and doesn’t happen in any place. The whole area below the line just stands for wherever it is you go when you turn a sneeze molecule into a disturbance of the molten lava.

 

QuHeal3What is the significance of these diagrams? The two diagrams are used to construct a third diagram shown on the right with the following explanation:

The mind and the body are both above the line. A is a mental event, or thought; all the other letters are physical processes that follow from A. … If you feel afraid (A), then the other letters stand for signals to your adrenal glands, the production of adrenaline, the pounding of your heart, elevated blood pressure, and so on. These are B, C, D, et cetera. All the physical changes that take place in the body can be connected in a logical chain of cause and effect, except for the space after A. This is the point where the transformation from thought to matter first occurs – and it must occur, or the rest of the events will not happen.

At some point in the lineup, there must be a detour. At that point the lineup breaks down, because mind does not touch matter above the table. If you want to lift your little finger (point A), a physiologist can trace the neurotransmitter (B) that activates an impulse that runs down the axon of the nerve (C), causing a muscle cell to respond (D), resulting in the lifting of your little finger (E). However, nothing a physiologist can describe will get him from A to B – it requires a detour.(p. 100)

The best way to illustrate the absurdity of the reasoning behind the U-shaped diagrams is perhaps to go back to the sneeze and the molten lava example and see how the same logic connects my sneeze to an earthquake in Mexico City and the collapse of a building. I reproduce the quote above verbatim, but change the physiological events to geological ones. Here is how it goes:

The molecule and the molten lava are both above the line. A is a microscopic particle; all the other letters are physical processes that follow from A.  … If you sneeze (A), then the other letters stand for the motion of the lava, the arrival of the seismic wave under the city, the displacement of the earth crust there, the collapse of a building, and so on. These are B, C, D, et cetera. All the physical changes that take place in the macroscopic world can be connected in a logical chain of cause and effect, except for the space after A. This is the point where the transformation from a microscopic sneeze molecule to a macroscopic motion first occurs – and it must occur, or the rest of the events will not happen.

At some point in the lineup, there must be a detour. At that point the lineup breaks down, because a sneeze molecule does not touch the molten lava above the table. A seismologist can trace the disturbance of the molten lava (B) that activates a seismic wave that runs to the fault under the city (C), causing a displacement of the earth crust there (D), resulting in the collapse of the building (E). However, nothing a seismologist can describe will get him from my sneeze A to B – it requires a detour.

Quantum physics is just a detour!

The same change from straight-line causes to U-shaped detours occurred when quantum physics was born. Although everything in nature once appeared to happen above the table, according to classic Newtonian theory … a few things could not be explained without a detour. The most obvious was light. … Light can behave like A, a wave, or B, a particle [which are connected by a U-shaped arrow]. These two are totally unalike in Newtonian physics, since waves are nonmaterial and particles are concrete. But light somehow can act like one or the other, depending on circumstances, and therefore it must have taken a detour under the line.

This quantum [of light] is a very strange particle, because it has no mass, but for our purposes, what makes it important is that in order for light wave to become a photon, it must take a detour beneath the table. In an unknown realm not covered by Newton’s laws, the transformation takes place.

… As with the neuro-peptides, the quantum allowed nature to become flexible enough to permit the inexplicable transformation of nonmatter into matter, time into space, mass into energy.(pp. 97-99)

Thus, indeed, quantum theory becomes just a U-shaped detour from the Newtonian straight line! Physicists, who were used to drawing diagrams with straight arrows, invented quantum theory and introduced the U-shaped detour when they encountered “those few things that could not be explained” the straight-line way! This is a puerile oversimplification that could be intended only for toddlers! Quantum physics is a highly mathematical and universal theory, which was discovered over a period of about thirty years, and in no stage of its development was there a mention of a detour, U-shaped or otherwise!

To Chopra, a wave is conveniently nonmaterial. Waves used to heat and cook food in a microwave oven have no material existence. X-rays, which penetrate human flesh to scatter off bones and other hard objects inside the human body to convey crucial information to a physician, are figments of our imagination. Gamma rays, emitted by nuclear bombs that can devour hundreds of thousands of lives in an instant, are nonmaterial. In reality, however,  all waves are as material as any form of matter we can think of. They move like matter, they interact with other particles of matter, and they carry energy and momentum like matter. In fact, modern physics associates a particle to every wave.

The wave and the particle aspects of light are neither the cause nor the effect nor the “becoming” of one another, but are connected through the probabilistic nature of microscopic reality. They show up together: when seen individually, light consists of photons, but when an army of photons march through a measuring apparatus, they show wavelike properties. (See here for a good discussion of the wave-particle duality and the connection between the two … and how a famous experiment is abused by the mystics to make a particle of light conscious!) To Chopra, probability and statistics, which are at the foundations of the quantum theory, have no meaning. The notion that a large collection of particles can exhibit a different characteristic from an individual particle seems to be foreign to Chopra. Instead, he regards a wave as a nonmaterial entity that can somehow turn into a particle by taking a detour, while real physics tells us that photons and their wave properties are one and the same and no arrow (straight or detoured) is necessary to connect them.

Mystics’ Mutilation of Quantum Theory (2): Serpent-King Shesha’s “Science”

Quantum theory was born in a period when some significant social upheavals were taking place. 1920’s were the years, in which the Bolshevik revolution had just succeeded in establishing the Soviet Union as an alternative socioeconomic system which was foreseen by the believers to eventually replace capitalism. They were also the years in which Freud was enjoying the credit of another kind of revolution: a revolution in the “science” of the mind. These two revolutions offered alternatives for the beliefs of the Ayurvedaexisting society, and many, including some physicists, found it quite natural to offer theirs. These beliefs, plus the physicists’ desire to communicate the excitement of their discoveries to the public, and the mythically enchanting flavor that quantum theory could add to this communication, made the situation ripe for disaster. It is unfortunate that some of the grossest abuses of the quantum theory were initiated by the very people who created it. Max Born comes up with an equation of uncertainty principle involving communism and capitalism; Wolfgang Pauli associates a universal soul with the wave function of the Schroedinger equation; and Werner Heisenberg hints at an observer-created reality! Such absurd ideas coming from great physicists create a golden opportunity for mystics to dress their equally absurd ideas with scientific attire. The word “quantum” has been so trivialized that now you can find books on quantum angel healingquantum touch therapyquantum alternative to growing old, quantum weight loss approach, and dozen other such titles. But the leader of the pack is the book by Deepak Chopra, an expert in mind-body medicine.

Quantum Healing begins with a sentimental report on one of Chopra’s cancer patients, who had been treated by conventional medicine for breast cancer with little results. When she turned to Chopra, he referred her to Ayurveda Health Center located in Lancaster, Massachusetts, where she was put on a treatment that included a certain Ayurvedic herb diet, yoga exercises, and Transcendental Meditation. (In the earlier printings, Chopra gives the name of the clinic as the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center. However, Maharishi’s name is removed in the later printings!) He also advised her to follow the chemotherapy prescribed by her doctor. After a year of both treatments, she developed a fever, and had to be hospitalized. Surprisingly, a few days after her arrival in the hospital and being on antibiotics, her fever was gone … and so was her cancer. Her conventional doctor thought that chemotherapy was behind her cure. Chopra thought that his Ayurvedic treatment was the real cause of the disappearance of cancer, but he did not want to risk the life of the patient by advising her to quit the chemotherapy. She eventually died, and Chopra concludes that “she was the victim not of her cancer, but of her treatment.” He shows remorse for not giving her full Ayurvedic treatment but instead advising her to continue the chemotherapy.

Ayurveda  is a system of Indian traditional medicine evolving throughout South Asia during the span of about two millennia. The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita are the two authoritative encyclopedias of medicine compiled from diverse sources from the mid-first millennium BCE to about 500 CE.  According to legend, the serpent-king Shesha, the recipient of Ayurveda, once visited the earth. As he wandered over the planet and found it full of sickness, he became heartbroken and determined to incarnate himself in the son of a Muni for alleviating disease. And part of the task with which Maharishi charged Chopra was to find a scientific explanation of how and why the serpent-king Shesha’s medicine works. He decides that the explanation ought to be microscopic. And since quantum theory is the theory of atoms and molecules, the explanation must be there!

Chopra claims that research on spontaneous remission of cancer in the US and Japan has shown that just before the appearance of the cure, “almost every patient experiences a dramatic shift in awareness. He knows that he will be healed, and he feels that the force responsible is inside himself but not limited to him – it extends beyond his personal boundaries, throughout all of nature.'”(p. 17) What kind of research can show that the force “extends throughout all of nature”? What measuring instrument does the researcher use to measure the entire nature? Did the researcher know which patients were going to be cured to measure all of this – which were all happening “just before the cure”? Chopra gives no references to the research; no details of what the “dramatic shift in awareness” is; no explanation of what exactly the “force” is. It is a pity that hundreds of thousands of adult US citizens – and by mindless emulation, the world – read books like Quantum Healing and shoot them up the scale in the New York Times’ best selling list, only to attract even more citizens to such nonsense. All this said, let’s see what the dramatic shift has to do with quantum healing anyway. The layman uses “quantum” to describe a “leap.” Chopra interprets the presumed shift in awareness of the patients as “apparently jump[ing] to a new level of consciousness. The word that comes to mind when a scientist thinks of such sudden changes is quantum. The word denotes a discrete jump from one level of functioning to a higher level – the quantum leap. Therefore, I would like to introduce the term quantum healing … .”(pp. 17-18) So, Chopra with an MD can call himself a scientist feel qualified to invent quantum healing. I hold a PhD in physics. Therefore,  I believe that I am as qualified – if not more so – to invent my own quantum disciplines. Are there any other occasions on which the word quantum may come to mind? Let’s see. Bursting into laughter is a jump in the volume of our voice. Therefore, I would like to introduce the term quantum laughing. Burping is a jump in the level of air released through the mouth. Therefore, I would like to introduce the term quantum burping. And what about that sudden release of gas accompanied by a loud noise that many times goes out of control and causes embarrassment? I would like to introduce the term quantum farting. … Is this how “scientific” explanations come about? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – if he had any rational thinking in him –  must have been very disappointed in Chopra!

Chopra gets it wrong even in his motivation for choosing the word “quantum.” The jump that he identifies as a definition of quantum is actually to a lower level. This jump – which is explained in any introductory chemistry or physics book –  occurs in atoms, as a result of which they emit light, and it is well known and well established that the emission of light takes away some of the energy of an atom, causing it to end up at a lower level of energy. But Chopra doesn’t want the consciousness of his patients to jump to a lower level. So, he reverses nature’s usual direction of a quantum jump!

Since he has learned from scientific medicine that to understand medical and physiological phenomena one has to grasp what happens at the cellular and sub-cellular level, Chopra is looking for a microscopic explanation. So, he introduces the “junction point between mind and matter” and places it at a level “so deep that you cannot go any deeper.” It is at this “deeper core” of the mind-body system that healing begins. However, as in his alleged research in US and Japan, he doesn’t tell us what he means by “deep” and at what part of the patient’s body or mind (brain) should one measure the depth. If this core is the center of healing such incurable diseases as cancer, shouldn’t Chopra tell us, and the medical community, how to get there, in practice? When pseudoscience talks about location, it is deliberately imprecise, vague, metaphorical, and wishy-washy. A mind-body doctor tells his patient to go on a diet of herbs, fruits, vegetables, and practice yoga and “very deep” meditation to cure her cancer. If the treatment fails, the patient is advised to increase her concentration in her practice of yoga and to meditate “deeper.” And if the patient asks, “How do I know if I have reached the desired depth of meditation?”, the reply will usually be an answer-dodging statement like “You‘ll know!” The procedure and the doctor are never questioned. After all, how can a procedure that has survived hundreds of years be wrong? And how can a doctor, who follows the “book” word for word, be wrong? So, it is the patient who is not mediating “deep” enough! On the other hand, if the cancer remits (and there is always a chance – an unpredictable  probability – for remission), the patient becomes a priceless testimony for the “miracle of the mind-body medicine” and an instrument for attracting new patients and wealth!

Molecular neuro-biologists have in the past few decades begun to investigate the physical and chemical processes through which thought and memory are formed. They have found that impulses are passed from one neuron (a brain cell) to the neighboring neuron by the exchange of chemicals called neurotransmitters. And there is a long way between understanding these impulses and extending that understanding to the explanation of feelings, emotions, and thoughts. To Chopra this lack of knowledge is a great opportunity to embark on his ungrateful antipathy to science:

I see too many flaws in the argument that a deeper knowledge of body chemistry is all we need – the body has too many chemicals (literally thousands of them), they are produced in bewilderingly complex patterns, and they come and go too fast, often in fractions of a second. What controls this constant flux? We cannot leave the mind out of the mind-body connection altogether. To say that the body heals itself using only chemicals is like saying that a car shifts gears using only the transmission. Clearly it takes a driver who knows what he is doing.(p. 36)

What Chopra identifies as a “flaw” is, in reality, the very essence of the scientific method! It is precisely because there are thousands of chemicals produced in complex patterns moving in fractions of a second that science picks a part of this complex system and focuses on that part. To appreciate the fault in the attribution of “too many flaws” to the scientific method, let us consider the solar system, and see how the quote above applies to that system:

I see too many flaws in the argument that a deeper knowledge of gravity is all we need to understand the solar system – the system has too many planets, moons, and asteroids (literally thousands of them), they are moving in bewilderingly complex patterns, and they come and go too fast. What controls this constant flux? We cannot leave the mind of the solar system out of the mind-body connection altogether. To say that the system moves only under the influence of gravity is like saying that a car shifts gears using only the transmission. Clearly it takes a driver who knows what he is doing.

In order to discover gravity, Newton had to focus on a very small part of this huge system: the earth, the moon, and an apple! He would never, ever have discovered the law of gravity had he insisted on looking at the entire complex system at the same time. And it is safe to say that if we insist on looking at the entire “bewilderingly complex patterns,” without first isolating parts of it and focusing on those parts, in other words, if we insist on studying our body based on the recommendation of mind-body physicians, we will never understand either our body or our mind.

As for the mind-driver analogy, it is obvious what Chopra is driving at (yes, pun!): there has to be a mind to drive the body. But does a car really need a driver? Google announced in October 2010 that it had been building robotic cars that had been driving themselves around California – down curvy Lombard Street in San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, along the Pacific Coast Highway, around Lake Tahoe and from Google’s Mountain View headquarters to Santa Monica (a 350-mile trip), … over 140,000 miles in total! On May 7, 2012, Google received the first license from the state of Nevada to test its driverless vehicles in cities across the state. And in the not-so-distant future, we will see driverless cars on every street and highway. So Chopra’s “driver” is not needed for driving the body! [To be continued …]

Mystics’ Mutilation of Quantum Theory (1): The Disappearance of Mahesh Yogi

This is the first of a series of posts intended to expose the misrepresentation – indeed mutilation – of modern physics by the mystics, new agers, psychics, and alternative medicine practitioners. This one starts with Deepak Chopra, the famous author of Quantum Healing, a book about mind/body medicine. First a few words about the book itself.

517A6W9XH1L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_The hardcover edition of the book came out in 1989 and its paperback edition in 1990. In the Introduction, the author narrates his meetings with “one of the greatest living sages,” who imparted to him some ancient techniques that “would restore the mind’s healing abilities.” In one of the meetings, the sage tells him, “I have been waiting a long time to bring out some special techniques. I believe they will become the medicine of the future. They were known in the distant past but were lost in the confusion of time; now I want you to learn them, and at the same time I want you to explain, clearly and scientifically, how they work.” – BTW, a technique that is in any way related to science comes after the prerequisite scientific knowledge has been gained. One doesn’t start with a technique and then ask for (or order) a scientific explanation. It is like the Pope asking a devout Catholic doctor to find a scientific basis for the Hail Mary!

From his own words, one gets the unmistakable impression that, were it not for his contacts with this great sage, Chopra would not have come across the “discovery” described in his book. In fact, he feels so much indebted to the sage that he dedicates the book “With a full heart and deepest thanks to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.” Maharishi’s influence on Chopra’s “discovery” is evident throughout the book. … All this takes place up to the 14th printing of the book! In the 15th and subsequent printings, all citations of Maharishi’s name are erased; the meetings with him, which were the starting point of quantum healing, are not mentioned at all; the crucial “primordial sound” techniques, which were “the strongest healing therapies in Ayurveda” and were prescribed for incurable diseases like cancer, are gone; there is no mention of the revelation of “some great secret” that took place after meeting with Maharishi; no mention of how Maharishi taught him “how to pierce the mask of matter.”

In the bibliography of the earlier printings of the book, Chopra writes “I enthusiastically recommend the following eleven books, all of which entered into my own education on these fascinating subjects.” Two of those eleven books are by Maharishi. In the bibliography of the 16th printing, he also recommends eleven books, but he lists only nine! You can guess which two are missing. Chopra must have been in such a hurry to erase all traces of Maharishi’s name that he forgot to count the number of the remaining books in his bibliography! What makes all of this suspicious is that there is absolutely no explanation for any of these changes!

Chopra's bibliographyThere is an online article by Chopra written on February 13, 2008, just eight days after Maharishi’s death and almost fourteen years after Chopra broke up with him! From the self-praising account given by Chopra after the death of the guru, the main witness to his claims and the only one who could challenge them, one can detect a clear power struggle between the sage and his disciple. One can see the jealousy of the old guru threatened by a shrewd disciple whom the former designated as the ambassador of his teachings. One can also see an opportunistic disciple who uses the fame and congregation of the sage for his personal gain.

The aim here is not to dissect Chopra’s personality, only his ideas, especially when they relate to science. However, since the germ of his ideas, by his own admission, originated in his meetings with Maharishi, who taught him the techniques and remedies described in Quantum Healing, and since he himself does not mention the sudden change in the printing of the book from 14th to 15th, this brief background of his book can shed some light on Chopra’s scholarly personality and literary truthfulness. If he is so grossly careless as to forget to count the number of items in his bibliography after he removes Maharishi’s books, he will most likely be careless about the data and information that he passes along to his readers when talking about medicine and physics. [To be continued …]